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Jul 2013
We walked along the cobblestone street like it was memory lane and we were retracing our steps all over again. I reached for your hand and I saw the hesitation in your eyes and the twitch in your little finger, but you wrapped your fingers around mine anyway. The first thing I noticed was that our footsteps were no longer in sync, as they once were (and neither were our heartbeats). But each step carried us closer to our destination, although neither of us knew exactly where that was, so we kept walking. I watched (out of the corner of my eye) the way your free hand was fumbling around in your pocket as though searching for every apology you never had the courage to offer me, but you pulled out a cigarette instead. In order to light it, you needed your other hand back, and although I wanted to grip it in my hand like a vice and never let it go, I let it go. You reached into your pocket again, much more swiftly this time, and removed a lighter. With practiced ease, you flicked the edge and the flame was suddenly alight in your eyes, like a fire burning upon the driftwood of our broken promises in the middle of an eerily serene sea. But just as quickly as hope appeared in the form of that orange and yellow burst of heat, it was gone and back in your pocket with the rest of our unspoken confessions. I allowed myself a second to glance in your direction and note that you had placed your hand in the same pocket as your lighter, instead of back into the safety of mine. Maybe you didn't think of my hands as safe anymore. Or maybe you just learned to find safety in other things instead. And suddenly I found myself wishing you could teach me a thing or two about that. But our feet miraculously carried us forward, towards a sun setting on a much darker day than most. My hands and my heart were as empty as your left pocket, and your mind was as full as your right. And I was still unsure where we were going, or how long you'd be willing to walk beside me, or if you were doing it just to appeal to me. However, I couldn't help but wish I was able to climb out of the depths of your left pocket, swing across your belt loops and land safely inside your right, along with the rest of the broken pieces of you.
Written by
Asphyxiophilia  Pennsylvania
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